Archive for: June, 2012

Friday Weird Science: Can you pee lying down? Science needs YOU!

Jun 29 2012 Published by under Friday Weird Science, Uncategorized

Today’s Friday Weird Science comes to you courtesy of the perspicacious Ivan Oransky, who was kind enough to send me this paper. And this paper is great. It’s proof that anything is worth measuring if you do it in an fMRI.

Like peeing!

Have you ever wondered what happens to your brain when you pee? What areas might be active which allow that glorious golden shower? What is responsible for that feeling of relaxation and release? That feeling of relief when you REALLY have to go?

….do you have to pee RIGHT NOW? I bet you will by the end of this.

Krhut et al. “A Preliminary Report on the Use of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging with Simultaneous Urodynamics to Record Brain Activity During Micturition" Voiding Dysfunction, 2012.

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14 responses so far

Science: It's a PEOPLE thing.

Jun 27 2012 Published by under Academia, Uncategorized

Things I should have been doing today:

1. Working on a paper
2. Running an experiment
3. Wrangling students
4. Planning more experiments
5. Reading some lit
6. Preparing a talk
7. Other

Basic daily list, and much less than I often deal with (example, no teaching at the moment and the exam doesn't have to be written til Monday, so YAY!).

But that's what I should have been doing. This is what I did.

1. Got in a massive Twitter flare of a this video, which hit last Friday

2. Got in the argument and am now writing a blog post on it.

So thanks, EU Commission, not only have you made people annoyed, you actively prevented Sci from doing science this day. I hope you're happy.

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11 responses so far

Parkinson's: much more than dopamine

Jun 25 2012 Published by under Behavioral Neuro, Uncategorized

Sci is at SciAm blogs today, talking about a study showing that Parkinson's is more than dopamine, and that serotonin may have something to do with it. It's an interesting study with some widespread implications that cover more than Parkinson's. Head over and check it out.

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Friday Weird Science: Why, you DIRTY LITTLE HERPS!

Jun 22 2012 Published by under Friday Weird Science

This story broke Wednesday, so I'm very late. But this is just such an awesome story that I can't leave it alone. And not ALL of the puns and jokes have been used up yet!!! There's still a bit left for me! So here it goes!!



SCIENTISTS SHOCKED!!! "We were pretty sure they only humped shoes and other inanimate objects..."


I mean, seriously, who ever heard of a turtle humping another TURTLE? I always thought it worked like this:

But it turns out, turtles really DO have sex with other turtles! Apparently with enthusiasm!! With such enthusiasm, in fact...that they reached a big death before they got to the little one. Ooops.

Joyce et al. "Caught in the act: the first record of copulating fossil vertebrates" Biology Letters, 2012.

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4 responses so far

Wanna feel good? Tell me ALL about yourself.

Jun 20 2012 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

We all know what blogging started off as. Livejournals, devoted to people talking, with a certain amount of self-satisfaction, about themselves, what they had for breakfast, and how not getting a pony when they were 8 caused them to become a vegan. Self-blogging continues, and now there's also Facebook, where you can take lots of time out of the day to update people on all the little things you're doing. And then there's twitter, and texting, and all the other things we use every talk about ourselves.

At first I was surprised that we spend between 30-40% of our interactions telling people about our own experiences. But maybe I should be surprised the percentage isn't higher! Twitter is apparently 80% personal experiences. And not just online, as humans we are all about the disclosure.

But the question we have a drive to do this? Why do we spend so much time talking about ourselves?

Tamir and Mitchell. "Disclosing information about the self is
intrinsically rewarding" PNAS, 2012.

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8 responses so far

Loving complex melodies? You could be ovulating! Or not.

Jun 18 2012 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

Sci is at SciAm blogs today, looking at a study which examined the preference for musical complexity in women across the menstrual cycle. Do you prefer more complex melodies at that time of the month? Are you looking to be impressed by prospective males? Head over and find out!

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Friday Weird Science: Cannabis and sperm, gettin the semen high

Jun 15 2012 Published by under Friday Weird Science

...or rather, getting them SLOOOOW.

Two weeks ago I covered a study on cannabis coming for mouse sperm. But that's mice, not humans, and most of it was in a dish. So what does it mean for PEOPLE? After all, mice don't spend most of their time mating on weed, while humans...well we DO spend a lot of time mating, and some spend a lot of time on weed, so that's got to intersect somewhere.

And here's where it does!

Whan et al. "Effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana, on human sperm function in vitro" Fertility and Sterility, 2006.

(Human sperm under a microscope! Cool, eh?)

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17 responses so far

Exercise and Depression part the second: a critique of a critique

Jun 14 2012 Published by under Behavioral Neuro, Uncategorized

Yesterday Hilda Baston (of the Statistically funny blog which I only just discovered!) posted to the SciAm Guest Blog, with a thoughtful and useful critique of my critique (I know, so meta!) of the recent exercise and depression study.

And she's got some great points. But you know what? I've got great points, too. 🙂 This sort of back and forth is what makes science really fun and interesting! So Hilda, grab a beer, a coffee, or your drink of choice, and let's get down to business, science style!! Head over to Sci Am and check it out!!


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Science Communication: A sort-of-kind-of Carnival, and some more thoughts of mine

Jun 13 2012 Published by under Academia, Activism

Last week, when I wrote a post about science outreach and some of the issues facing the academic community, I wasn't expecting quite so much of an explosion. I was hoping for some good discussion, and boy did I get it, in the form of comments and blog posts and tweets (heck, SONYC even did a panel, though I think that was coincidental). So I decided to put together a collection of some of the posts, in the hopes of establishing a little bit of a flow and context for my own thoughts. I started this as a kind of carnival, but it ended up being more about how my thought process was working in this. But it's still chock full of links! If I've missed anyone, please chime in in the comments in and let me know and I'd be glad to add you in!

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15 responses so far

"exercised over nothing"

Jun 11 2012 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

That's a quote from one of the tweets about this study this morning, and seems to sum it up pretty well. That latest study which blasted through the media, saying that exercise doesn't help depression? I don't buy it, and I'll tell you why. Head over to The Scicurious Brain to find out.

2 responses so far

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